There is little to stop a repeat of the Iraq War fiasco because official rules on ‘sofa government’ are so lax, MPs said last night.
In 2003, Tony Blair sidelined his Cabinet and took his country into battle after telling US president George Bush: ‘I will be with you, whatever.’
A Commons committee warned that 14 years on, there remains an absence of safeguards in place to prevent a prime minister from disregarding Cabinet procedures.
The public administration committee also said Mr Blair would not face an investigation into whether he misled Parliament over the Iraq War unless ‘new and relevant’ evidence emerges.
They said the Iraq Inquiry, led by Sir John Chilcot, did not provide a ‘sufficient basis’ to hold such a probe.
Mr Blair developed a reputation while prime minister for cutting out his ministers and instead taking decisions with a small group of advisers – a practice known as ‘sofa government’.
In a critical report on the Chilcot Inquiry, the cross-party group of MPs warned that it would still be possible for a prime minister to disregard the proper Cabinet decision-making process.
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